School of Business joins group offering MBA in China

The opening of a new MBA program in China, offered as a joint venture between Peking University and Fairfield University in a consortium with 25 other U.S. Jesuit universities, coincided with President Bill Clinton's visit in June to Peking University, China's oldest and most prestigious university. During his visit, President Clinton observed the new state-of-the-art classroom building which will house the MBA program.

This is the first time the Chinese government has permitted foreign universities to offer a complete MBA program inside China and the first program to get complete government support and encouragement.

On hand to kick off the new MBA program were the Hon. William Daley, U.S. secretary of commerce, and Dr. Janet Yellen, chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisors. Secretary Daley and Dr. Yellen congratulated the first class of students on being accepted into the MBA program and challenged them to take leadership roles in shaping China's future. Secretary Daley, who attended Loyola University in Chicago, praised the values of Jesuit education and congratulated the major American corporations who have supported the program with scholarships and internships.

Secretary Daley was presented with an honorary diploma signed by the Deans of the 26 U.S. consortium universities. Dr. Gong Yi, the executive secretary of the Monetary Policy committee of the People's Bank of China, closed the official ceremony with a champagne toast.

Dr. Walter Ryba, dean of the School of Business at Fairfield, explained that Fairfield will help supply faculty, administrative and resource support to the program. In addition, he said, Fairfield MBA students will be encouraged to participate in the program either as mentors or as visiting students in Beijing for a semester.

Dr. Ryba met with Chinese ambassadors and education dignitaries in May when Fordham University hosted the deans of the 25 Schools of Business who form the consortium. The first Chinese students to enroll are senior or middle-level managers of leading corporations, with average work experiences of eight years. Their admission was based on their academic records, work experience, standardized tests, recommendations and, for the leading candidates, personal interviews. Twenty Chinese and 20 U.S. students are enrolled in the full-time section of the MBA program, with an additional 40 Chinese students enrolled in the part-time section.

"This marks an important milestone in the cooperative development of relations between the United States and China," noted Dr. Ryba. "The Fairfield University School of Business is proud to be a part of this historical effort."

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on September 1, 1998

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